Time on My Hands

Time on My Hands

Being on time has always been important to me. I am of the school that if you are early, you're on time. If you are on time, then you're late. When I went into business, I applied the same principles. There are tons of caterers in DC, so I decided my superpower outside having great food would be timeliness.

A few years in, with more clients and having growing pains, I started to feel overwhelmed. I was at the doctor, and my blood pressure was erratic. We talked about what I could do as a simple, non-medicinal hack. We decided that I would stop wearing a watch.

In today's world, there are clocks everywhere to tell you the time. A watch does not make you on time. A watch makes you painfully aware of how we're always looking for more time. So no watch of any kind for more than a decade.

Jump to 2019. I get a Fitbit. I love my Fitbit, but I might have to give it up too. All this "data" is impacting me. I do not get enough sleep, and some nights are worse than others, even if I go to bed at the same time. I spend a lot of time awake or in light sleep, not enough in deep or rem sleep. It tells me that I don't walk enough steps, exercises enough, or drink enough water. What did I get myself into?

Stress eating is a pastime I'm sure we've all picked up this year. I remember in college, people use to talk about the freshman 15, and I know people are talking about the pandemic 15 pounds they've gained or more. 2021 is coming, and people always promise to do better in the New Year. People promise to eat better, go to the gym, and improve their health. I don't usually fall into that trap, but as much as I complain, the honest truth is my Fitbit is encouraging me to get my act together. Only time will tell.

Braised Kale w/ Bacon & Cider

December Recipe: Braised Kale w/ Bacon & Cider

2 slices of bacon
1-1/4 cups thinly sliced onion
1 pound bag chopped kale
1/3 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apples
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook 5 minutes or until crisp, stirrring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings.

Crumble bacon and set aside.
Increase heat to medium-high and add onion to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add kale and cook 5 more minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently.
Add cider and vinegar, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add apple, salt and pepper, cook an additional 5 minutes until apple is tender.
Remove from pot, sprinkle with bacon and serve.

Have a Holly Jolly, Healthy, Happy Holiday Season

Well, we are in the thick of it now, smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, and I am not entirely sure how we got here, but GREAT things are ahead. We successfully forged new traditions and honored long-standing ones through Thanksgiving. With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or whichever holiday you celebrate, there is plenty more fun around the corner, even in the age of Covid. While we may not be attending countless holiday parties, we still need to balance tradition with staying healthy, especially now. As we move forward in this festive yet stressful time of year, nutrition and movement are two ways we can finish 2020 on a high note. I am not saying forego those holiday meals you love so dearly. Please partake. Just be mindful not to overindulge. Overindulging can take many forms, but here is how I see it: portion size, sugar intake, and lack of movement. To more easily navigate the holidays, here are a few of my go-to tips to enjoying the season!

Eat Fat

Fats are a natural component in many foods that gives it flavor, a natural sweetness, and make us feel full longer, which means you will eat less. Avoid non-fat varieties; When manufacturers remove fat, they often add sweeteners and other ingredients to maintain flavor and texture. Options: real whipped cream over canned or Reddi-wip, olive oil over butter, and butter over margarine. Moderation is key!

Carbs are your friend

Carbohydrates are vital to our survival because they give us energy. There are two types of carbs. Simple and complex. Most holiday food is made of sugar, which is a simple carb and is quickly absorbed by the body. Complex carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These types of carbs are digested more slowly, are healthier, and don’t spike blood sugar. Carbohydrates like vegetables are loaded with fiber which keeps us healthy and enables our bodies to remove waste and toxins efficiently for optimum health.

Options: crudités platter, hummus, and using vegetables for dipping instead of bread, pita chips, or crackers.

Don’t forget your protein, be it plant, fish, fowl, or cow Whether or not you eat meat, we need protein. Opt for lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish over red meat. Consuming moderate amounts of protein and fat are important when enjoying those holiday cocktails.

Options: Rice paper wraps, chicken or beef satays, shrimp cocktail, chickpea poppers

Size matters (I can’t say it enough)

Fats should be only 15-20% of each meal. Carbs 50-60%. Opt for mostly plants like beans or greens. Protein 20-30%. Think of protein as a garnish instead of the largest part of your meal. Protein should be no bigger or thicker than the palm of your hand.

Sleep In

Sleep is hugely important. Our bodies burn fat most efficiently while we sleep. We are most efficient with 6-8 hours of sleep.

Drink plenty of water

Water is the key to detoxing and elimination.


Whether you head to the gym or go for a walk outside, keep moving. A combination of strength training and cardio is vital to staying fit and keeping off the pounds through the holidays. Exercise helps manage stress, so keep moving. Walk, run, row, bike. Add a new holiday tradition like a 15 min walk either before or after the meal.

As I said earlier, great things are in store for us. 2021 will be 365 days of endless possibilities. This year, please be safe, stay healthy, move more, and reflect on friends and family that bring you joy.